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Foam board in snow?

Greetings everyone! First post. =D I just LOVE the FliteTest show. (As of three weeks ago. :D )

Anyhow, a friend of mine is thinking about building the FT duster. He's just getting into the hobby, and winter is approaching here in Wisconsin.

Thus my question is, how well does foam board hold up in snow landings? Will the snow get the paper wet and kill it's strength?

My friend may not paint his plane right away. Would just a coat of Minwax Poly help?

Any thoughts would be welcome. :)


Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
ANY wetness will cause damage to untreated foam board. Use the Minwax Polyurethane (NOT water based) and you will be OK.



Senior Member
Snow, like water, will not make it weaker (unless submerged for a while) but the paper will shrink and cause warping. If you paint the plane that will stop the paper from absorbing the water. Coating works, but if you're gonna paint it anyways...
It depends on the snow. Last winter I landed my bloody wonder in snow a few times and it was fine, although it was the super dry snow, and when I got home I made sure to remove any excess water. But honestly it wouldn't have lasted the whole winter this way. Definitely treat your plane, or cover it in packing tape for some extra water proofing


creator of virtual planes
Snow is a beginner's friend. I started flying last winter and it saved a few of my planes. BUT I didn't treat my foam board at all and my planes didn't last long from the water damage. Definitely a great idea to Minwax your plane.

Also, be carefully when pulling your plane out of the snow. Sometimes the prop survives the crash, but a quick yank out of the snow breaks it. :(

The FT Duster probably isn't the worst plane to start with, but your friend will quickly destroy that plane. I do mean quickly, and I do mean DESTROY! It's a great idea to save him the heartache of knowing that he spend 10+ hours building a plane and got less than 10 minutes flying time out of it. The FT Flyer is one of the best places to start, at least if you want to scratch build. Scratch building takes practice and he probably isn't going to build the FT Duster quite right. The FT Duster isn't going to fly right if it isn't built right and it's going to make it that much harder to learn how to fly. The FT Flyer doesn't have to be built that well to fly well. Plus it's a lot easier to fly. Ask anyone that has a FT Flyer, they go back to that plane and take it out once in a while, no matter what their experience is and what they normally fly.